Women at the top: Reviewing MTN’s first digital public offer

New data about MTN’s oversubscribed series 1 public offer last year shows the dominance of young Nigerian women.

By

Basil Abia

Date Published

February 2, 2022

Category

Political Economy

When reading Nigeria’s capital market history, it is highly unlikely that one will ever come across a data summary depicting women at the top of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) investor list. While this is unfortunate, it is the painful outcome of a country steeped in unequal capital distribution with the accumulation of wealth among women falling far behind that of their male contemporaries.

But a new dawn is here and we absolutely love to see it.

A new data summary from MTN Nigeria’s communications office released yesterday reveals some really surprising but welcome changes in the investing culture in Nigeria. MTN Nigeria offered the public the opportunity to purchase 575 million shares in the company in December 2021, at a price of N169 per share. As seen in the communication, the series 1 offer - which also coincides with being Nigeria's first-ever public offer via a digital platform - was oversubscribed by 139.47 percent, resulting in the allocation of an additional 86.25 million shares.

More intriguing and exciting statistics reported include:

  • Women were the overwhelming majority of successful applicants for the public offer via a digital platform. Approximately 76% of successful applicants via digital platforms are women, and 85% of them are under the age of 40. For Nigeria, this is an incredible number.
  • There were valid applications for a total of 801.97 million units, resulting in the activation of the approved 15% over-subscription clause, which resulted in the purchase of an additional 86.25 million MTN Nigeria shares. A pointer to the signs of the times - Nigerians want to put their money where it works for them best, and rightly so.
  • Overall, MTN Nigeria shares totaled 661.25 million in total. A total of 126,720 retail investors submitted valid applications and received full allotment, while institutional investors who participated in the bookbuild, including pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers, corporates, and foreign portfolio investors, received 72.09 percent of their applications. The Nigerian pension funds represent approximately 6.5 million Nigerian contributors. Nigerians really want to “chill with the big boys”.

With Nigerian women, there’s massive a target market out there

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated female adoption of investments via digital platforms. Financial uncertainty and an inflationary environment in Nigeria largely buoyed by the pandemic pushed a lot of Nigerian women - and other Nigerians too - to search for hedges - from building emergency savings on automated savings platforms like PiggyVest and Cowrywise to updating financial plans and then the ensuing transitioning from saver to investor.

“People (in Nigeria) are doubling down on saving and investing,” – Odun Eweniyi, Co-founder PiggyVest

The recent trend of women adopting investing via digital platforms presents the investment industry in Nigeria with a significant opportunity. Female investors represent a new opportunity to earn new customers who have yet to establish loyalty to a single firm as more fintech platforms launch in an effort to make investing more accessible.

In a nascent retail investing market like Nigeria, gaining the trust and patronage of female investors is likely to be a money-making achievement for platforms that promote inclusivity.


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Disclaimer: This information in this article is NOT investment advice. It is intended for information and entertainment purposes only.

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